We visit South Padre Island about 3 times each year. Each visit includes a stop at the Palms Cafe. While the cafe is overpriced, the location and friendly service can't be beat. The place we usually stay wasn't available for the first night of this trip, so we thought that we would give the Palms Resort a try, expecting to have a positive experience similar to the Palms Cafe.
Checking in went smoothly enough. We were shocked to see that the cost for our two small dogs almost doubled the rate, but we blamed ourselves for not reading the pet policy more closely.
Our first impression of the room was positive. There was a nicely-sized living area with a sleeper sofa, an ottoman, a small kitchenette with a microwave and a refrigerator, and a small table and chairs. The bedroom was furnished with a queen bed, two nightstands, and a dresser. The bathroom had a spacious walk-in shower with the sink positioned outside the bathroom area. We chuckled that the resort had pinched pennies by mounting the small TV on the wall so that it could be shared between the living and bedroom areas. The room was hot, but we thought that was because the A/C had been set high in order to save money.
Once we settled in for the night, the disappointment set in. The layout of the room placed a wall between the A/C and the bedroom. Even with the A/C set low enough that the living room could serve as a refrigerator, the bedroom was still uncomfortably warm.
Once we took our shoes off, we noticed how filthy the floor was. Housekeeping apparently sweeps the floor but doesn't sufficiently clean it. We also noticed all the mildew in the shower. Finally, we realized that they hadn't stocked the room with enough soap and gave us conditioner but not shampoo.
Checking out was painless enough, but we witnessed the disturbing treatment of another potential guest. A young man was attempting to stay with his wife and two young children (ages 2 and 4). Although he tried to convince the clerk that the 2 year old child would sleep with he and his wife, they refused to allow him to stay. While we understand that hotels have occupancy policies, the way the clerk spoke to the young man really bothered us. Having worked directly with customers for many, many years, we know that there is a right and a wrong way to deliver bad news.
Could the staff use a refresher course in hospitality and attention to detail? Absolutely. Are these problems bad enough for us to rate our experience as 'poor'? No. Is this resort nice enough to deserve a premium price? Definitely not.
If the staff would polish their hospitality skills and bring their prices in line with the quality, it would be a reasonable place to stay. However, with the premium pricing, the experience was definitely out of line with our expectations.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We’re sorry we fell short of this guest’s expectations. Fortunately, we were able to speak with him following his Trip Advisor posting, so we gathered some additional information that aided us in our research. Let me address each of the concerns:
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They reserved one of our most popular rooms (#216) during peak season at a rate of $185/night. They paid a pet fee of $75 for their two dogs – not even close to almost doubling the rate as their posting states. We charge a pet fee because everything in the rooms is sent out to be professionally cleaned before we can rent the room again. In addition to that expense, our housekeeping staff spends twice as much time cleaning those rooms to get them ready for the next guest. Most hotels no longer take pets, but we’re happy to offer this option to our guests and we make no apology for recovering the additional costs we incur associated with our 4-legged guests.
When a room is unoccupied, we set the a/c unit at 75 degrees to conserve energy. With an outside temperature of 85-95, most guests find this to be a comfortable temperature upon arrival. We will investigate removing a section of the wall area that divides the bedroom from the sitting area in some of our rooms. That, in addition to the large ceiling fan in all bedrooms, should allow for excellent circulation of air-conditioned air.
The tile floors are stripped, cleaned and resealed regularly. They are also thoroughly cleaned between guests. After speaking to this guest, we looked at the floor in that particular room. It had just been stripped and sealed a month earlier, but this particular floor has highly textured tile making it more challenging. We re-stripped and cleaned the floor again two weeks ago and it now sparkles! We also met with Housekeeping to review the process for cleaning these highly textured floors.
We stock all rooms with two bars of soap, a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of body lotion. That is sufficient for most of our guests, but we are always happy to provide more to any guest that asks.
We’re at a loss on the comment about how another potential guest was treated by our front desk associate. Our normal occupancy limit is 2 adults and 2 small children, so it is difficult to understand why we would turn a potential guest away that had 2 adults and 2 small children. Regardless, we have shown this posting to all front desk associates and discussed the importance of giving outstanding customer service when interacting with all guests…even if we have to deliver bad news.
We were happy to have the opportunity to speak directly with this guest about their experience, and about the steps we’ve taken to address their concerns. Naturally, we would have liked to have the opportunity to address his concerns while he was at our hotel. In the end, he was happy that we talked with him about his posting and he was pleased with the actions we took. The greatest compliment of all is that he said he would stay with us again if his travel plans bring him back to South Padre Island. We can't ask for more than that!
Thanks again for taking the time to give us your feedback.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.